by Myne Whitman
Rape is not about sex, but about power and exerting dominance, and that is why more women and children are raped than the other way around.
I try not to take most things too seriously, but there are issues that get my blood boiling. One of those topics is rape. Women and children continue to be the vast majority when victims of rape are numbered, and I find it galling that our culture would rather blame them or sweep the stories under the carpet, than face the men who perpetrate this hate crime, and deal them full and swift justice.
In his article, Kenechi agrees with my point that a lot of Nigerian men struggle with thoughts of rape, or may have raped before. [This I think is due to the heavily patriarchal culture in Nigeria, where women are expected to be subservient to men, and women’s bodies are seen as owned by their men or the society].
But then he goes ahead to blame women, and the victims of rape, stating they provoke rape due to the way they dress to kill. In his opinion, even if you’re not raped for dressing indecently, you may cause other decent women and children to be raped. While a lot of people have, deservedly, jumped on Kenechi Uzochukwu’s head, let’s not forget that a Kano lawyer made similar statements in the past, and that several Nigerian men, and even women, think the same way. One article on Naijastories goes on to blame mothers who breastfeed in public for arousing men, and causing rape!
Am I saying we should not rebut Kenechi Uzochukwu, or others of his ilk? NO! I am saying that even as we castigate him, we should look beyond him, because he’s just a symptom. We should try to look inwards and focus on the cause – our culture. We might not be able to change Kenechi, but we can change ourselves and those under our influence, our brothers, cousins, friends and sons. We have a long way to go to change the mentality of men who are brought up to see themselves as Lords and Masters over women.
Rape is not about sex, but about power and exerting dominance, and that is why more women and children are raped than the other way around. Some men even rape fellow men. It doesn’t help that in Nigeria, rape and its perpetrators are rarely reported. When they do, victims are maltreated, and at the end, these rapists get off lightly.
So, Kenechi – and all men that think like him whether they say it or not – it goes beyond a man being able to exercise self control or about women guarding their sexuality and how they dress. It is about men like you developing respect and empathy for women. I won’t ask you to think about if it was your mother, daughters, or sisters being raped. I will say think about if women were human beings like you. Think about rape victims and think about yourself being raped. By a man. A man who is twice your size.
Think about that, and please stop raping.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.